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Facebook’s study of how content manipulation can affect users’ moods has stirred up an ethical hornet’s nest, but there’s a bigger question beyond whether the study should have happened. Now that we know it’s possible, what’s to stop more ambitious attempts to manipulate consumers? Read more »

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In Brief

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Wednesday approved a final settlement with fourteen companies that allegedly breached the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor treaty, which requires U.S. companies to adhere to the EU’s privacy laws in their storage of EU customer data. As a result of the settlements, the companies — including BitTorrent, DataMotion, Level 3 Communications, Apperian and others — must not misrepresent themselves if they say they are complying with government-sponsored privacy or data security programs or “any other self-regulatory or standard-setting organization.” The FTC filed its original complaint in January.

In Brief

Dell, Cloudera and Intel are working together on an appliance designed to speed the performance of Hadoop environments by moving a lot more data into a shared memory space. Key to the performance improvement is Apache Spark, the in-memory data-processing framework that’s now included in Cloudera’s Hadoop distribution. At this point, it seems like Hadoop vendors are going to sell their wares regardless where they run, so a deal like this really helps Dell make the case that hardware matters in big data environments. The companies claim it’s the first in a family of “Dell Engineered Systems for Cloudera Enterprise.”

In Brief

Cloudsoft is jumping on the Docker bandwagon. The Edinburgh-based company, whose software other companies can use to manage the development and operations of their applications, plans to announce Clocker at Structure on Wednesday, the aptly titled name to its open source project that allows users to spin up Docker containers without generating excess containers. Cloudsoft’s new project uses Apache Brooklyn, the open source framework for managing applications through their blueprints — a set of policies that an organization sets up to ensure that an application doesn’t spin up an excess amount of virtual machines — to deploy and manage multiple Docker clusters across the cloud and even on-premise. In short, Clocker manages all the Docker containers and ensures that only the correct amount are launched for a given application.

In Brief

Dropbox is acquiring a data visualization startup called Parastructure, according to TechCrunch. It’s one of those deals where nobody is talking yet, but what little info is publicly available about Parastructure helps shed some light on Dropbox’s motivation. It’s hard to imagine Dropbox getting into the analytics software business that Parastructure was targeting, but it’s not hard to imagine Dropbox acquiring some talent that can help it scale onto, and query, new data technologies. And, like Box did with its dLoop acquisition, Dropbox might also be looking to improve search for its business users.

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